Alisha Hessler: Tampa woman chooses to embarrass attacker by making him hold 'I beat women' sign
Alex Hobson, WFTS
8:07 AM, Dec 19, 2013
6:45 PM, Dec 19, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - He sat on a stool in a dunce cap, puzzling Tampa drivers for hours with a sign that read: "I BEAT WOMEN. HONK IF I'M A SCUMBAG," boldly written in black marker.
"He's doing it because he doesn't want to go to jail," Alisha Hessler said.
Hessler, 20, is the one who put him up to it.
She says she met the man Saturday night when friends of hers brought him along to go clubbing. But on the way home, Hessler says he started making unwanted sexual advances toward her in the backseat of the car.
She says she asked him to stop, then hit him when he didn't.
"That's when he started beating me repeatedly until I had a broken nose and a concussion," Hessler said.
On Sunday morning, police were called to her house and a police report was filed, and Hessler was taken to the hospital for her injuries.
But in a peculiar turn of events, she decided to not press charges.
Hessler found the man on Facebook, who WFTS-TV chose not to name, and gave him the following ultimatum.
"I can either press charges and have you arrested for a year, or I can have you sit outside at a busy intersection for eight hours holding up a sign that says I beat women," Hessler said.
Mindy Murphy, the CEO of The Spring, couldn't believe her eyes.
"There's so many problems with this," Murphy said. "Women die every day at the hands of abusers. Sexual assaults occur every day. The fact that we've got a guy sitting in a dunce cap with a sign on the side of the road really is trivializing a serious issue," she said.
Tampa police tell ABC Action News that Hessler has stopped returning their calls.